Having watched numerous games that the Rangers should have won but let get away, it’s nice to have one on the other end: A game that the Rangers probably shouldn’t have won, but did anyway.
After Jose Leclerc worked a clean 1st inning as the opener, Drew Smyly came on to work the bulk of the innings. He wasn’t sharp.
Smyly gave up 8 hits, 3 walks, and 7 earned runs, with two of the Mariners hits being of the 2-run home run variety. Smyly’s ERA is up to a grotesque 6.98, and his FIP isn’t much better at 6.64. Smyly is giving up a hard-hit percentage of 37.4%, so when he’s not walking guys, they’re hitting him hard. I’m curious how much longer the Rangers can keep throwing him against the wall.
Fortunately, the Mariners error show made yet another appearance, as 3 errors ended up allowing the Rangers 2 unearned runs, while a ball in the top of the 9th inning off of the bat of Nomar Mazara probably should have been caught, although it wasn’t scored an error (insert disclaimer about how this shows that errors aren’t a good measure of a defense’s effectiveness, or lack thereof).
Nomar Mazara had three hits on the day, with one being the double in the top of the 9th. It’s nice to see him putting good swings on the ball.
In the end, the Rangers managed to win 8-7, and won the series.
Going back to the thought of how long the Rangers can continue rolling with Drew Smyly in the rotation, much of that will depend on the next couple of weeks. The Rangers, who have been really good at home this season, begin the longest home stand of the season tomorrow night against the Kansas City Royals. After the series against the Royals, they’ll see the Orioles and the A’s. A lot of very winnable games, and they could go a long way toward determining if the team will continue clawing for a Wild Card spot heading into the summer months, or if they’ll fade from view. Should the Rangers manage to remain in that picture — or better, establish their footing in that view — then I could foresee them exploring other options to move Smyly from such a prominent role.